EU’s New Rules on Hedge Funds Improve Earlier Draft—But Remain Controversial

Perspectives: An Occasional Forum of the European Institute Reflecting Participant Views on Topical issues

By Anthony Luzzatto Gardner

After nearly two years of heated debate, the member states of the European Union have approved the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive which imposes strict regulatory requirements on a wide range of “alternative” investment fund managers, including those managing hedge funds, private equity and venture capital funds, listed investment companies, real estate and infrastructure funds.


Leaked Cables Show A Transatlantic Success: EU Rallied to Iran Sanctions after Some Swedish-led "Foot-Dragging"

An interesting narrative that emerges from the newly-disclosed secret State Department cable traffic documents the Obama administration’s success in getting European support for sanctions and other actions against Iran. After the presidential elections in 2008, the new team in Washington developed a sustained diplomatic focus on the issue and proved more effective in this regard than earlier efforts by the Bush administration, which had its hands full with the war in Iraq. The change of emphasis and clarity is described in a New York Times story based on the documents released by Wikileaks.


Lisbon Summits Offer Success For U.S., Russia And EU -- At Least On Paper

(Nov. 22)   The three summit meetings last weekend resulted in what New York gamblers call a “trifecta” of three wins:  the leadership of the NATO alliance set a framework for missile defense in Europe without undermining nuclear deterrence as an ultimate security guaranty; Russia returned to its special partnership with NATO for the first time since the Georgia war in 2008; and the EU fielded an effectively streamlined team (the result of its own Lisbon treaty last year) that has already bolstered the pace of  EU-US cooperation.


Irish Government Sets Draconian Cuts in Hopes of Recovery in Debt Crunch

Here is a point by point run-down of the austerity package unveiled Wednesday by the Irish government. Dublin hopes it will be strong enough to quell the current crisis of confidence in the country’s finances – and that the government, with its paper-thin majority, can keep enough public support to make the plan credible. The  four-year plan, the brunt of which is suppose to take effect next year, includes cuts in welfare and the minimum wage and higher taxes for Irish citizens. But it maintains the relatively low corporate tax rate that other EU countries have sought to see raised – so far, without success – in their negotiations with Dublin about a planned EU-IMF bailout.

-- European Affairs


Backlash Among European Allies Likely If U.S. Delays Strategic Arms Pact


An Obama administration failure to get ratification of the so-called New Start treaty – as now seems probable – will inject damaging tensions into U.S. relations with Germany and other key NATO allies in Europe.